Farmers’ Market Hosts Homegrown Art

Though all quirky and original, artists at the Walla Walla Farmer’s Market have a few things in common: passion, resourcefulness, and creativity.


Photo by Mika Nobles

Allison Hall, Staff Writer

Among the ripe fruits and various lettuces at the Walla Walla Farmers’ Market, some gems of local art can be found. Though all quirky and original, artists at the Walla Walla Farmer’s Market have a few things in common: passion, resourcefulness, and creativity.


Local artist Jeff Randall runs a business called Bottlechange, which repurposes glass bottles and turns them into art.

“Bottlechange creates tumblers, vases, candle holders, and even pendants and earrings from discarded bottles that have been collected from local bars and restaurants,” Randall said.

The company began after Randall learned that all of the glass bottles in the Walla Walla Valley were being taken out to a landfill.

“We wanted to do something to lessen the waste, no matter how small that might be, and began learning how to cut and polish glass bottles first for our own use and then for family and friends who wanted some of these items as well.”

Bottlechange’s art shows the power of ingenuity to transform the everyday into the extraordinary, all while helping reduce waste.

“Being at the Farmers’ Market has allowed us to share the idea with others that there are ways to re-use rather than discard the items we come into contact with. Our favorite aspect of creating is taking trash and seeing it transformed into something that becomes a treasure for one of our clients.”

Photo by Mika Nobles
Photo by Mika Nobles

J. Franklin Willis Photography

James Willis is a photographic artist at the Farmers’ Market with a special twist—he alters his photographs to give them his own touch with filters and Photoshop.

“My major subject is scenic, which includes barns, churches, and classic old homes. At first I stuck to straight photography. Then I got into post processing … I have gone more and more into the use of creative post processing.”

Willis sells note cards and prints, and notes that people both from Walla Walla and visitors seek photographs of the area. His favorite part is the interaction that the market allows him to have with the customers.

“We look most forward to the social interaction with customers and other vendors. I have stories to go with many of the images, and folks seem to enjoy the history of an image. It is a social event for us.”

Oregon Trail Yarn

Valerie Calley runs the small business of Oregon Trail Yarn. For her, knitting is no small thing—it is a part of her identity.

“It is very integral to who I am,” Calley stated confidently.

Her business arose naturally from her hobby of knitting, as a way to help her pay for more yarn so she could continue knitting at the rate she was.

“I wanted to buy more yarn so I needed to make money, it pays for [my] hobby.”

Her business is local from start to finish: the sheep are raised and sheared in the area, the wool handspun into yarn, and then the yarn knitted into a multitude of products. Hats, socks, vests, scarves, and shawls were all featured in her booth.

For Calley, like the other local artists, their art means far more to them than the business itself.

“I find knitting calming and peaceful and organized. It’s where I go to get away from the chaos,” concluded Calley.

These artists and many more will be at the Farmers’ Market now through the fall. The market is open each Saturday from April 30 to October 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It is located at the corner of Main and Fourth in downtown Walla Walla.